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Cookie Express delivers sweets to Airmen

Cookie Express volunteers from local and base communities gather to package cookies for dorm Airmen Dec. 13, 2017, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.

Cookie Express volunteers from local and base communities gather to package cookies for dorm Airmen Dec. 13, 2017, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. Members of the Military Affairs Committee, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and civilians came together to assist in bagging and distributing cookies to Malmstrom Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tristan Truesdell)

Several cards from the community are displayed on a table for the bag assembly at the annual Cookie Express Dec. 13, 2017, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.

Several cards from the community are displayed on a table for the bag assembly at the annual Cookie Express Dec. 13, 2017, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. Cards are distributed to local school districts for students to write to Airmen for the Christmas holiday. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tristan Truesdell)

A Cookie Express volunteer collects cookies Dec. 13, 2017, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.

A Cookie Express volunteer collects cookies Dec. 13, 2017, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. The Cookie Express receives donations of various cookie types, which are separated to identify common allergens when bagging. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tristan Truesdell)

A Cookie Express volunteer holds a bundle of fused saltwater taffy Dec. 13, 2017, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.

A Cookie Express volunteer holds a bundle of fused saltwater taffy Dec. 13, 2017, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. The Cookie Express donates cookies and various sweets to each dorm Airman. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tristan Truesdell)

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- Volunteers from several organizations came together for the Cookie Express to show their appreciation to Airmen this holiday season.

The Cookie Express is a cookie drive that has combined the efforts of local and base communities to bring Airmen cookies for the past 15 years.

Paper bags were given to the base Youth Center to be decorated while cards were collected from elementary schools, according to Master Sgt. Ruth Salender, 341st Operations Group and Wing Staff Agency first sergeant and event organizer.

The goal of the event was to deliver cookies to each dorm Airman with any remaining going to 24-hour work centers.

Sharon Lynde, 1st Liberty Credit Union communications and product development director, has volunteered for Cookie Express the past four years.

“Cookie Express is a great opportunity to give those Airmen who aren’t able to be with loved ones the feeling of home and love from the community,” said Lynde. “It allows me to show my appreciation for what they do to protect our country.”

Volunteers collected, baked and packaged cookies for deliveries.

The event brought the town and base together including spouses, Military Affairs Committee members, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, active-duty service members and the civilian community, said Angie Allen, a Cookie Express volunteer.

“Many people came together to support our Airmen with the Cookie Express,” said Allen. “We had people from inside and outside of the base volunteering to make this event successful, which is what the holiday spirit is all about.”

More than 450 dozen cookies were donated for the drive.

“For a lot of Airmen, this might be the first time they’re not spending the holidays with their families,” said Salender. “They can’t have their mom or grandma cooking. The least we can do is give them home in the form of cookies, and we were able to achieve that.”
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